President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday tasked the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) to assist in tackling environmental challenges in the country among other problems.
He said that all Nigerians have a role to play in securing the future of the country.
The President spoke in Abuja while receiving the President and Executive Committee of the ICAN.
The President said: “In the present circumstances, all hands must be on deck to ensure Nigerians work towards an inclusive, diversified and sustainable future.”
President Buhari noted that climate change and environmental challenges are major threat to the peace and prosperity of our nation and its citizens.
“In the Niger-Delta region, man-made environmental problems have adversely impacted the livelihoods of the inhabitants. Farmers and fishermen in particular have seen their means of livelihood destroyed. Our assessments have shown it will take decades to reverse this damage. But we have made a start. With or without international cooperation, we are starting to clean up our degraded areas, beginning with Ogoni.
In the North Central region, we are also seeing a significant increase in farmer herdsmen clashes. This trend, which is recurring in many West and Central African nations, is as a result of desertification.We are also seeing unpredictable rain patterns resulting in significant floods across our coastal communities. These floods have destroyed hundreds of homes and farmlands,”he said.
He therefore, urged the Chartered accountants to use their positions to champion the course of sustaining the environment.
“As Chartered Accountants, your knowledge of environmental and sustainability business practices is critical. You have a responsibility to ensure your clients, in both the public and private sector, prioritize environmental sustainability in their operations,” he advised.
The President used the opportunity to inform his guests that his administration intention to sustain the fight against corruption in order to yield more dividends of democracy.
“In the past 3 years, this administration has worked hard to enhance the transparency and efficiency of public sector financing through the Treasury Single Account. We have also introduced policies that are improving the business environment. We have implemented projects that enable young entrepreneurs. We will also continue to review obsolete laws that are hindering growth in many sectors,” he said.
He also assured ICAN of continued partnership with the Institute for the development of this nation.
ICAN President, Rasaq Jaiyeola said: “Government has made giant strides in this direction. Fighting corruption is really at the front burner of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration and it is acknowledged all over the world. We believe the government has tried and will continue to grow in strength in that direction.”
He said ICAN has introduced some measures that will help strengthen and sustain the fight against corruption.
“We have introduced a number of measures in our Institute as regards fighting corruption in this country. We have recently introduced ICAN accountability index which is a way of assessing public finance management practices in Nigeria.
“At the end of the day this will introduce measure that will improve performance of the government and the economy as well block loop holes as regards fighting corruption. We have also introduced other measures in this direction, like what we call, Non compliance with rules and regulations by various bodies.
“Our members are mandated to make a report of any infractions in their organisations. We have also introduced the whistle blowing policy to support our government and we have set aside a fund to support this objective such that if any of our members makes a report or he does his work and is been victimized as a result of fighting corruption, the Institute is there to support them as appropriate and we actually did this several years ago and we are happy that this present government has also made it a national priority,” he said.